Sunday, October 16, 2016

ROCCO welcomes author Barbara Schlichting!

Meow!
My guest this week is author Barbara Schlichting!


  • Tell us a little about your background
Barbara Schlichting was born and raised in Minneapolis and graduated from Theodore Roosevelt high school in 1970. She and her husband moved their family to Bemidji, Minnesota, in 1979. She attended Bemidji State University where she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in elementary education and special education. Ms Schlichting has been married for forty-four years and has two grown sons who have blessed her with five grandchildren and two great grandsons.
  • Tell us a bit about your First Lady mystery series. What was the inspiration?
I’ve always loved American history.  It was my favorite subject in school and the First Ladies were top of the list.  I was able to get signed photos of each of the living First Ladies which spurred me onward to writing the series.  What’s not to like about Dolley Madison?  She may have been the first First Lady to introduce ice cream to the White House.  How American can you get?
  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
As the middle child and only girl in my family, I played constantly with dolls.  My character, Liv, had to love dolls as much as I do and also love history.  While writing, I continued to learn about my characters, their likes and dislikes. 
·       How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I gave up on outlining a very long time ago.  I have a horrible time staying on track.  The characters like to take me all over and I have to rein them in. I usually have an idea that I build upon.
  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
I’m more character driven than plot.  The characters have to fit the plot.
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
The biggest challenge is to keep history fresh and relevant.  A sprinkling at a time is how the readers will learn bits and pieces of little known historical facts.
  • Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?
I gave up on agents. Since my series has historical facts it’s hard to know where it should be marketed.
  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
Currently, I’m putting the finishing touches on the third in the series which features Edith Roosevelt.  The title hasn’t been decided upon.  Edith was Theodore’s second wife.  Since I graduated from T Roosevelt high school, it’s a must that I write a First Lady featuring his First Lady.
  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
I walk for thirty-forty minutes every morning before I strap myself to the computer where I’ll sit for three-four hours.  Sometimes it’s a good day for writing and other days, I play too long on social media.
  • If you could take only three books with your for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take?
Little Women, Ordinary Grace, and All the Light We Cannot See.

  • What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
It took me over twenty years to get published.  Don’t under any circumstance, give up.  Keep writing and writing, then write some more.
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
In two weeks’ time, I visited my penpal of over fifty years in England for three days, flew on to Norway where I stayed on a sheep farm and was able to see where my great-grandparents immigrated from and see their respective houses.  I then flew to Liverpool, England and experienced the Magical Mystery Tour. I saw where the Beatles came from. After, I flew to Dublin, Ireland.  On a tour to northern, Ireland, I was able to walk on a rope bridge.  I had a magnificent time.
  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I studied the Norwegian language in high school.
  • What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
Have you ever received correspondence from the White House?  Yes, of course!  First Lady Obama sent me a photo plus a letter on White House stationary and both signed by her.
  •  Where can we learn more about you and your books?
Ebook link: http://a.co/4lOd53q

Just for Fun:
Night or Day?  .  Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) 
Beach or Pool?   Beach
Steak or salad?  Salad
Favorite Drink?  Perfect Margarita
Favorite Book?  ORDINARY GRACE
Favorite TV Series?  Murder She Wrote
Favorite Movie?  Sound of Music
Favorite Actor: Robert Redford
Favorite Actress:  Julie Andrews
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Dirty Martini
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Louisa Mae Alcott___________________
If I had just one wish, it would be to laugh more._____________________________________
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be _someone who has danced around the world.______
Find Barbara at 
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Barb will give away a copy of her latest book to one lucky commenter!  To enter, leave your email address with a comment in our comments section!  Winner will be chosen by random.org. Content ends midnight, October 21! US residents only. 



23 comments:

  1. I'm fascinated by the idea of dancing around the world!
    History is a tricky business. Making it interesting is the key. High school history classes bored me, but I like history.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Wouldn't it be fun to dance and dance!? Combining a good caper with a bit of history is a great way to learn about history without it seeming like a history lesson. Thanks!

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  3. Always enjoy reading and getting immersed in your books. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment I've had.
    annstanley1418@gmail.com

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  4. seascapelife at gmail dot com. Thank you for the chance to win. I adore this series and everything this author writes is catnip to me !

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    1. Thanks. This has been fun to do. I loved his questions.

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  5. kckendler at gmail dot com. Thanks for the opportunity

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  6. Would love to read! parkeremma2003 at yahoo dot com

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    1. It's set in Minneapolis. I had fun writing it because I grew up in the neighborhood. Enjoy!

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  7. This series is new to me and the books sound fascinating. I love reading historical mysteries and the addition of a White House dollhouse makes the book even more interesting. Another great review, Rocco.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks. I hope you enjoy it! This is the second in the series. It's a fun way to learn about our history. Enjoy!

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  8. Your trip to Europe sounds awesome (except for the rope bridge part; that I would skip). Thanks for the chance to learn more about you and win your book. mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Marla, Thanks so much for leaving a comment. Good luck! Enjoy the book and let me know how you like it by leaving a review on Amazon.

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  9. I love reading about history and combined with a mystery, that's even better. I belong to a book club and we're always looking for new authors and books to read. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you. I found this as a great way to drop bits of history and enjoy it. The White House has changed so much over the years and all the presidents--there should be a dollhouse shop!

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  10. Wow! I've known an author who attended Bemidji State---I went there about a decade ahead of you---and remember those cold winds coming off Lake Bemidji.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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    1. They don't like you parking on the lake anymore. That made BSU fun and driving across it to get to class. I didn't but I knew people who did. We have a new statue of Chief Bemidji. It's awesome. Thanks for responding and enjoy the book!

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  11. I love this series! Your travels...do you use them in your stories? A PenPal series might be fun...
    kat8762@aol.com

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    1. My pen pal, Chris, just sent me a handwritten letter because I wondered if she still knew how to write! Now I have to write back. It's fun. I spent two weeks last summer with her.
      Thanks for responding and enjoy the series

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  12. It is always so exciting, and refreshing, to meet a new author and series. Great post. Would have answered the same on a lot of those. I am really hoping to read sooner. Rather than later. The series sounds so intriguing. Della at deepotter at peoplepc dot com

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    1. Thankyou so much for responding. I always enjoy meeting authors especially those that I've met on the internet! To meet face to face is wonderful. I hope you enjoy the series. Barb

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